A FORMER Oxford pub has been converted into office accommodation for staff working on technology for driverless cars.

High-tech firm Latent Logic has taken 2,100 sq ft of space at a building in 8 Hollybush Row which used to be the Honey Pot pub.

The pub was empty for several years before being converted by Jericho-based Robin Swailes Design and Development.

READ AGAIN: City council grants permission for former Honey Pot pub to be demolished

It includes fully furnished office accommodation with a kitchen area, hot desking space and a rear garden.

Oxford Mail:

The complete nature of the building allowed immediate occupation and achieved a rent of £40 per sq ft, which reflects growing demand for such accommodation.

Richard Venables, director of commercial property agents VSL & Partners, said: “This is a brand new development and the landlord even included data cabling and furniture presenting a ‘plug and play’ opportunity ideal for the fast-growing tech market.

Oxford Mail:

“There is significant demand for city centre properties from small firms in this sector and such developments bring new stock to the market which is very welcome.”

Robin Swailes Design and Development is based on Walton Street and usually focuses on residential property such as the nearby Urbane short-let apartments on the site of another former pub and this is one of the firm’s first commercial developments.

Managing director Robin Swailes said: “We specialise in providing high specification accommodation and with such demand from high-tech firms it made sense to start providing it commercially.

READ AGAIN: Former Adventurer pub could be turned into flats

“It’s great to be able to attract such an innovative business and help Oxford continue to build on its global reputation for science and innovation.”

Oxford Mail:

Latent Logic pre-let the accommodation on a three-year lease.

Backed by Oxford Sciences Innovation, and Oxford Capital Partners the firm develops testing systems for driverless cars using artificial intelligence reflecting human behaviour as well as road and environmental conditions.

The firm’s website said: “Autonomous vehicles need to be tested in simulation before trying them on real roads.

“For these simulations to be lifelike, they must include humans displaying realistic behaviours in addition to simulating the road environment accurately.

“We build realistic AI-based human behaviour models, using a machine learning technique called Imitation Learning.

“Our models enable scalable, fast, robust, and safe testing of autonomous vehicles.”

In 2016, the city council gave permission to knock The Adventurer down and replace it will another four-storey building which would have contained seven flats but this proposal was changed.

VSL & Partners is an Oxfordshire-based commercial property consultancy providing a wide range of office, industrial and retail services to landlords and tenants throughout Oxfordshire.

VSL was established in 2002 and now has the largest dedicated commercial property agency team in Oxford.

Other services include Commercial Property Lease Advice, Valuation, Consultancy, Technology Company Advisors and Business Rates Appeals.

In 2018 VSL was named for the ninth year running as Oxfordshire’s best performing commercial property agency.